A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Upcoming Shows in Burlington

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Sunday November 28, 2010

There are a few good shows coming up that I recommend seeing.  If you were to only go to one of them, I highly recommend Langhorne Slim.  He made my Favorite Music 2006 list, and I’ve been dying to see him live ever since.  His live show is supposed to be outstanding…

Wednesday, December 1
Langhorne Slim @ Higher Ground

Tuesday, December 7
Miniature Tigers w/Maga @ Monkey House

Maga is one of my favorite local acts, and sure to put on a good show. They alone make the cost of admission worth it, though I also recommend sticking around for Brooklyn’s Miniature Tigers.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Photos: Dungen @ Monkey House 10/12/2010

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Wednesday October 13, 2010

I’m lacking the motivation to put much of it into words, so I’ll just share some extra photos. I enjoyed Dungen, though I didn’t stay for their full set as it didn’t begin until after midnight and I just can’t hack that like I once could’ve. The Monkey House was packed, and for good reason.

The shows two openers were the highlights for me — both Maga and The Entrance Band put on impressive performances that would have stood out on their own. That I was able to see them back to back for just $8 seems an injustice. If you live in this area, put Maga, a Burlington-based band, near the top of your list of bands to see. And if you’re into psych rock, definitely check out The Entrance Band (though not via their myspace page, which definitely has some sort of virus on it). Photos:

Bryan Parmalee of Maga

Bryan Parmalee of Maga

Maga

Maga

The Entrance Band

The Entrance Band

The Entrance Band

The Entrance Band

Gustav Ejstes of Dungen

Gustav Ejstes of Dungen

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Show preview: Dungen @ Monkey House tonight, Oct 12

Filed Under: Live Shows
Written by Brendan
Tuesday October 12, 2010

Dungen

Photo by Karl Max

Swedish psych-rock-folk-ers Dungen play the Monkey House tonight with The Entrance Band and Burlington’s own Maga. Unless you speak Swedish, you won’t understand a word, but their music definitely speaks for itself. I’ve been listening to their recently released album Skit I Allt and am definitely psyched to see these guys. While I’m more excited by the guitar-driven rock songs like “Hogdalstoppen” and “Barnen Undrar,” I think that the majority of stuff on their latest album has more of a jazz feel, making the intimacy of the Monkey House a good fit.

For just $8, I can assure that you won’t be disappointed.

Have a listen to “Marken Lag Stilla” from their September release:

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Dungen w/ The Entrance Band, Maga
Tuesday, October 12 @ 9:00p.m.
The Monkey House
Winooski, VT

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Art Hop is tomorrow!

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Thursday September 9, 2010

I love living in the South End of Burlington. It’s the perfect mix of quiet & convenient, and it definitely has a very particular character. The annual South End Art Hop, a two-day festival of local art in all its forms, really lets that character shine, and makes me love living here all the more.

If you’re in town this weekend, Art Hop is the only place to be. There’s a ton of good music playing, and I for one am definitely planning on catching some. Not sure I’ll make it to Maga at Speaking Volumes, but I’ll definitely be checking out Villanelles and The Vacant Lots at the Green Door Studio on Friday. Hope to see you there.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

On watching more local bands, and local bands to watch

Filed Under: Live Shows, Local Bands
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 1, 2010

I have to admit that I am not nearly as immersed in Burlington’s local music scene as I’d like to be. I still have yet to see a show at Radio Bean. The Monkey House shows generally start pretty late, and I don’t like driving out there unless I’m really motivated by a band I love. Metronome shows also start pretty late, and the one time I’ve tried to go to a show there in the past six months, they were 30 min late to even open the doors, let alone begin. It’s sad, but I seriously have a very hard time staying awake until 11:30 or 12 on a weeknight.

So the few times I’ve caught Burlington-area bands have been as opening acts at shows I was going to anyhow. I’d like to change that, and I’ve been hearing from more Vermont artists recently about new releases and live shows (keep it coming). So with this post, I’d like to kick off an attempt to see more local bands and write about them here.

To get it started, I might as well talk a little about the area bands I have seen, as I’ve been nothing but impressed with every one of them.

Maga

I saw Maga (soft g) open for Givers in May at The Monkey House.  I loved a few of their songs, and didn’t love others.  Overall, I left thinking I’d like to see this duo of Bryan Parmelee and Brett Fiorentino again.  It was Maga I bailed on seeing at Metronome recently because of my old-ness.  To make up for it, I wore my Maga tshirt in both Rome and Tel Aviv as a bit of free international exposure ;-)

Vacant Lots

Vacant Lots opened for, and put on a much better show than, Fiery Furnaces at The Higher Ground in June. They play heavy, droning psych rock a la Black Angels, and they play it well.  You can download Hypnotized, a 9-song release from Vacant Lots, for free here.

Also check out the video for “Let Me Out” by the Vacant Lots, written & directed by my neighbor Graham Raubvogel:

Maryse Smith (or Maryse & The Rosesmiths)

I had the pleasure of seeing Maryse Smith last week at Higher Ground, and to be honest, I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard of her before.  She plays tomorrow at The Monkey House, and I’m strongly considering going after my softball game, even though I’ll likely be at least slightly injured again.

Listen to Maryse Smith’s album Is Becomes Was (a bit more of a stripped down sound than the live show):

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Wrapup: Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Monday May 10, 2010

Well it finally happened last night – for the first time since I started regularly going to rock shows six years ago, I think that an audience (or lack thereof) may have actually killed a show. Not that Givers didn’t give it their all, but there was no mistaking the lack of energy all around – it ended up feeling like I was watching them practice in their garage.

I’ve been to many other sparsely attended shows here, but that sparseness and lack of true interest was nothing compared to last night.

It was another solo show for me, and started with the bouncer essentially begging the guy in front of me to come in after he initially rejected the $8 cover charge. Not generally a good sign, but he ended up forking over $5 in a compromise and headed in.

The opening act, Burlington’s own Maga (soft ‘g’), was on when I walked in. Not all of their songs spoke to me, but the couple that did were really impressive (particularly their final song). Assuming it’ll be a fairly unique item for a while, I bought one of their t-shirts after the show (threadless shirts are everywhere these days, so I’m beginning to look for new sources). I definitely look forward to catching Maga again.

While they prepped the stage and got themselves ready to perform, Givers stood in an alcove between the bar and the windows and had what seemed to be an amazing freestyle rap session. Had I been a little bolder it would have been fun to jump in; alas, I’m not. So at least they had some fun. When they got started, I’d say there were maybe 20 people there, and half of those people never left the bar.

Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

The music itself wasn’t bad – the vocal mix was a bit off for the first song, but once corrected I thought that both lead singers sounded great. You could feel them trying to drum up the energy to keep going, but you could also feel that energy being drained from them faster than they could keep up with. And I have to say, I don’t blame them. Not even Teddy Lamson’s frenetic pounding of the drums was enough to bring people up to the front to dance.

The area in front of the stage consisted of me and three seemingly wasted 30-something women who slurred “I fucking love you guys” or “you guys are soooo fucking awesome” as they sashayed (literally) across the dance floor after every song (and not in that really endearing way, but in that terribly obnoxious way). Taylor Guarisco’s eyes roll back in his head when he sings, so it’s tough to really tell, but I’m pretty sure I caught a couple of “yikes” type of eye rolls in there.

Givers @ Monkey House 5/9/2010

I really appreciate a band that can make it all the way through a show like that without saying “this is just awful,” but they didn’t really have to say that. After watching videos of their shows elsewhere and hearing fantastic things from my friend Aaron, I’m so disappointed that Burlington couldn’t turn out a crowd to really get the best out of Givers. As it is, I still got to listen to some good music, and it was well worth the $8 and drive to Winooski, but I need to see Givers again to get a better taste of the energy and excitement that they bring to the stage.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow’s Drink Up Buttercup show can get me out of the funk that last night’s show left me in.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.